A Gem In The Middle Of Nowhere

(All photos have been lost from this post.  Hopefully we can find them someday)

While the husband and I were on our family trip we decided to take a quick trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma.  It is only an hour and forty-five minutes there from Tulsa and we have a favorite restaurant we loved while we lived there so it was a nice little jaunt for us.  One of the places we wanted to stop at enroute to Stillwater is a small, nontraditional museum named The Washington Irving Trail Museum.

Washington Irving was a writer, explorer and artist who lived during the 1800’s and was commissioned by the United States Government to survey the land of Oklahoma.  This museum is on one of the campsites where he and his group camped.  On this site you will find a cute little building full of amazing treasures from the past.

When we first went in 2009 we found a bit of embroidery that started me on my addiction of ecclesiastical embroidery.  In a case in the “History’s Forgotten Treasure’s” exhibit was the most beautiful piece of goldwork I have ever seen.  It is a pelican piercing her breast to feed her young; this is a very traditional religious icon.  I then pursued learning this piece.

(photo here)

As you can see this piece of goldwork is amazing.  It is definitely old and the caretaker stated it came to him from New Mexico.  I am pretty sure it is from the very, very late 1800’s to very, very early 1900’s.  I love colors the artist used and the detail is fantastic.  Just look at the eye!

One of the other pieces in the same exhibit case is a cross badge. This cross is beautiful, in a worn, old sort of way.  It is obviously very old; printed plate stated it was from the crusade era.  This is not something I can confirm or deny; however, I can tell you it is very, very old.    The background seems to be a split stitch, the forward part of the cross looks to be raised laid metal while the red part of the cross is possibly a velvet fabric.  Turning over the badge the piece had a “tar” like product all over it.  I am unsure what it was.  You can see fabric and it looks to be linen; yet again, I am unsure.

(photo here)

The final piece that excited me because of the “May Your Hands and Shady Bower Course” through the Online University for Historical Embroidery Technics located at Thistle Threads.  I am learning about the samplers schoolgirls made.  The piece was created in 1778 so it is the same time period I have been learning about.

(photo here)

It is a beautiful piece that is the traditional cross stitch on most of the piece, but in one area the work has been done in the one over style. The stitches are so well done and even.  I am sure the young woman who put her hand to this was very proud to show this off.

(photo here)

Unfortunately, I have had to put my cross stitch piece away for a short time due to another project I am working on, but I will get back to it.  Looking at the sampler photos just make me want to get back on it.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in or near Stillwater, Oklahoma, take a few hours and visit the Washington Irving Trail Museum just off highway 51 and see what a love of history can turn into.


Surprise On A Vacation

Surprise On A Vacation

Since my husband is into folk music and we were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we decided to visit the Woody Guthrie Center.  This center opened in 2013 and is a tribute to Woody Guthrie’s art, music, and service to the human race.  You will find etchings of his artwork, lyrics to his songs, and some of his instruments.  The center also has the oil painting “This Land Was Made For You and Me” by Charles Banks Wilson.   All of the displays were very well put together.

I was watching the video about the 1930’s Dust Bowl when I noticed my husband was looking at the Bob Wills Display.  Walking over to look with him I noticed something that caused me to stop looking at everything else in the place.  On a mannequin in this display case was a white, long-sleeved, button down shirt with a blue, hand embroidered lyre with the words “Light Crust Doughboys” on it!

PicMonkey Collage

One of the original shirts from the first group of Light Crust Doughboys.

I ended up having to give the archivist my e-mail and do a huge search on-line.  I can tell you, from what I could see, the thread was pearl cotton and the stitch was the chain stitch.  Unfortunately, these are the only photos the Oklahoma Historical Society was able to provide me.  Amy, the OHS Curator of Collections, was able to provide me information from the catalog:

“Catalog info: Men’s long sleeve white cotton dress shirt with single breast pocket.  Embroidered in blue on the front and back is ‘Light Crust Doughboys.’  The label is marked ‘Penney’s by Towncraft, 100% Pima Cotton, Kingbar.’

Date range: 1931-1942

Used in Oklahoma and Texas, owned by Bob Wills (or band member).”

When I went home, I found a website for the Light Crust Doughboys.  I was stunned to find they are still playing!  However, they are not the same band members who wore the embroidered shirts, but the group is still around and playing some wonderful music. When you are searching around internet world, you should stop by and hear them for yourself.


The Woody Guthrie Center.

We had a wonderful time on our trip to the Woody Guthrie Center.  I do hope you are able to visit them if you are ever in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While you are there, please tell Sam Flowers (the young man pictured above) I said “hello”.  Also, you will find a wonderful stage just outside of the center called Guthrie Green where they host many fabulous, talented singers and groups.  Take some time and appreciate the area while you visit; you never know when you will find a very pleasant surprise!

Ren & Scott